NEW YORK—Sotheby’s auction of Israeli and international art in New York on Dec. 16 realized $2.8million, down from the $5million total achieved in last December’s Israeli-art sale (ANL, 12/27/07). However, the sold-by-lot rate of 61 percent and the sold-by-value rate of 66 percent represented solid demand, particularly given the current economic climate.
Sotheby’s offered 165 works, of which 100 were sold. At the high end, most works sold within or above estimates. The top lot was Chana Orloff’s carved wood sculpture Femme qui croise les bras (Madone), 1913, which sold for $158,500 to a European dealer, far surpassing the $80,000/120,000 estimate.
The second-highest lot of the sale, Mordecai Ardon’s painting Golan, 1986, sold under its estimate of $150,000/200,000 to a private U.S. collector for $146,500. Ardon’s Yellow Landscape, 1946, also landed in the sale’s top lots, bringing in $110,500 against a $100,000/150,000 estimate.
Work by Reuven Rubin (1893–1974) also drew strong demand. Jerusalem Landscape with Olive Trees, late 1960s, fetched $140,500 (estimate: $120,000/180,000), while Peace Offering, 1967, rose well above the $70,000/90,000 estimate to bring in $122,500. Rubin’s painting Galilean Hills brought $104,500 on an estimate of $80,000/120,000. Zoran Music’s painting Nous ne sommes pas les derniers, 1970, brought $134,500, also exceeding its $60,000/90,000 estimate. An Israeli collector paid $98,500 (estimate: $60,000/80,000) for Mané-Katz’s painting The Quartet, 1930s.